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Decision issued for Lakenheath 663 homes beneath flight path after year of delays

PUBLISHED: 18:14 06 September 2018

Concerns have been raised that the homes would be beneath the military aircraft route to and from RAF Lakenheath Picture: GREGG BROWN

Concerns have been raised that the homes would be beneath the military aircraft route to and from RAF Lakenheath Picture: GREGG BROWN

Controversial plans to build hundreds of homes in Lakenheath which have been hampered by red tape for more than a year have finally been given the go ahead.

Forest Heath District Council’s planning committee met on Wednesday night, where four separate applications totalling 663 homes and a primary school were given approval.

The proposals had proved divisive because of their location beneath a military jet flight path for aircraft heading to and from the RAF base, prompting the parish council to warn that it would pursue a legal challenge if the homes were approved.

The planning officers’ report said that the “identified benefits are also considered to outweigh the moderate harm identified to primary education, the landscape, loss of agricultural land and impacts attributable to noise from military aircraft activities.”

Councillor Hermione Brown, Lakenheath Parish Council’s planning sub-committee chairman, said she was disappointed with the lack of village representation.

She said: “We feel that councillors on the planning committee did not take the time to really understand the full implications of the disastrous decisions to allow residential housing, a pre-school and a primary school to be sited directly under the return military jets flight path to RAF Lakenheath.

“Lakenheath Parish Council are not NIMBYs. We are not against development per se and believe for a community to prosper it has to change and evolve over time. However, we believe that for development to be granted planning permission within our parish and village it has to be sustainable.

“It is the parish council’s duty to protect our village and if deemed necessary a legal challenge will be mounted.”

The approvals include full planning permission for 67 homes off Briscoe Way, as well as outline permission for 375 homes off Station Road, 81 dwellings at Rabbit Hill Covert and 140 properties to the west of Eriswell Road.

The sites were given outline approval last year before being delayed by an intervention from the secretary of state, and then faced a further delay earlier this year when a fresh ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union on a separate case meant habitat regulations had to be reviewed.

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